WAKEFIELD — Russell L. “Rusty” Johnson Jr., 61, a longtime Wakefield resident, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital on Wednesday, Feb. 18.
Born on Oct. 31, 1953 at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Russell was raised and educated in Melrose. He graduated from Melrose High School and was married to his best friend and love of his life, Jane, on May 27, 1979. They settled in Wakefield to raise a family and Rusty worked as a flooring contractor for many years. He was a devoted family man who was most happy when spending time with his family.
Rusty worked as a self employed flooring contractor for 35 years. He was a hard working man who took great pride in doing his job and doing it well. He worked independently and with Melrose Floor Covering, and earned a reputation for his dedication to doing great work and a meticulous attention to detail.
Russell, lovingly known as “Rusty,” was a source of great strength for his whole family. He instilled fairness, well rounded values and strong morals in his children. He showed them, by example, to respect others and to always offer your help when needed. Rusty was always on the lookout to offer some assistance to his friends and neighbors. He often helped shovel, plow or repair anything anybody needed.
He was a loving husband, father and son whose devotion to his family never wavered. Rusty stayed close to his family through weekly Sunday dinners at his mom’s house and by organizing the family “Lobsterfest” every year up at Old Orchard Beach in Maine. He was a kind, thoughtful and fun-loving person who cherished the time he spent with his family.
In his free time, Rusty loved golfing with his wife Jane, especially at his favorite course, Sagamore, and bowling with his friends and family. Throughout the year he enjoyed friendly candlepin bowling leagues at the Wakefield Bowladrome. He also enjoyed listening to classic rock, reading the newspaper, gardening and working in the yard. He took pride in everything he did whether landscaping, cleaning the pool or simply growing figs.
Rusty was one of a kind and will be lovingly remembered by his family and friends.
Rusty was the beloved husband of Jane E. (Pierce) Johnson, with whom he shared 35 years of marriage. He was the devoted father of Jacquelyn A. Rogers of Wakefield and Russell L. Johnson III and his wife Rachel of Melrose. He was the cherished son of Roberta F. Johnson of Melrose and the late Russell L. Johnson. He was the caring brother of Maralyn L. Walker and her husband Robert of Wakefield, Roberta Boucher and her husband Dennis of Ware, Pamela A. O’Connor and her companion Steven Roberto of Stoneham, Matthew A. Johnson and his wife Sherri of Belmont, Carol J. Stevens and her husband David of Epping, N.H., and brother-in-law of David Pierce and his wife Jean of Saugus and Stephen Pierce and his wife Sylvia of Gilford, N.H. He was the dear nephew of Laurice Zwicker of Melrose. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends will gather in honor of Rusty’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 4 to 8 p.m., and for his funeral service on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
For directions or online tribute visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.